The family of 39-year-old Isabel Alvarado refused to give up their hope of finding her, but they were left grieving her death Sunday, and one of them has been charged in her murder.
Authorities believe Isabel Alvarado is no longer missing and that her life came to a gruesome end at the hands of her husband, Carlos Antonio Alvarado.
Carlos Alvarado, 45, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with murder. According to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the suspect confessed that he choked his wife and mother to their four children to death and then burned her body on his aunt's property in Fort Bend County.
Isabel Alvarado's relatives are now struggling to come to grips with the grisly details of her murder.
"We have some kind of closure today," the victim's niece, Marissa Ramirez, said.
Closure is something Isabel Alvarado's family has been looking for ever since the mother of four disappeared on March 30. She was last seen at 3:15am, leaving Taco Bell where she worked on Highway 6 at Keith Harrow.
She never made it home. Her truck was found five blocks from her house in northwest Harris County.
Texas EquuSearch volunteers spent days searching for her.
Authorities say Carlos Alvarado repeatedly lied to his family about his wife's whereabouts.
His arrest came after charred remains were found by Fort Bend County officials near his aunt's home in the 2900 block of Pennsylvania Road in Fresno.
Identity confirmation on the remains is pending, but the Harris County Sheriff's Office believes it is her.
Prosecutors said Carlos Alvarado "went to his aunt's property in Fort Bend County and asked his aunt if he could burn the body of an animal that he claimed he hit. His aunt gave him permission and it turned out he was burning his wife's body."
"When the defendant was arrested, he confessed that he choked her and then burned her body," a prosecutor said in court Sunday.
No one answered the door Sunday night at Carlos Alvarado's aunt's home.
In an interview Saturday before his arrest, Carlos Alvarado said he spent hours talking with police and answering questions about his wife's disappearance. He said he thought it was quite normal for police to spend so much time interrogating him.
"I am the first person responsible for her," he said in Spanish.
At one point during the Saturday interview, Carlos Alvarado turned to the camera and directed a message to anyone who had his wife in their custody.
"Isabel Alvarado is not a normal person. She is a queen. And you have no right to put your dirty hands on her. And you don't deserve to have her, but you do. You have to treat her as the queen she is," he said.
Family members told us Isabel and Carlos Alvarado separated in December. Prosecutors said the couple had a history of domestic violence.
The suspect remained behind bars Sunday night. Bond was set at $100,000.
The victim's relatives are furious and concerned he could flee if he gets out of jail.
"He can make it. He's going to get out," Ramirez said.
Isabel Alvarado's family members said they are supposed to meet with sheriff's investigators soon. Carlos Alvarado is due back in court Tuesday.
Relatives have also set up a foundation through Chase Bank to help the Alvarados' four children. Ramirez said their eldest daughter is caring for her younger siblings for now.
Please stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for updates as we continue following this developing story.